Notes from today’s articles. First, Dominican Winter League Report

the Azucareros are giving playing time to super-prospect Andy Marte at third base.

Speaking of Marte, he’s off to a solid start, hitting .281/.406/.439 with nine walks in 13 games and 32 at bats. He just has two extra-base hits (a double and a homer) but you have to be impressed with his strike zone judgment so far in a league with so many veteran and quality pitchers…

Braves LHP Jung Bong left the Cibao Giants after a mild ankle strain he suffered didn’t heal properly. Bong wasn’t expected to miss any starts, but never did return after suffering the injury Nov. 8 in San Pedro de Macoris. Another injured and not-returning Brave is OF Ryan Langerhans, arguably the league’s best player the first two weeks of the season. Langerhans had knee problem after hitting .400/.467/.600 to start the season.

That’s a Premium article. Live from the (Mock) Winter Meetings is not


Traded Jung Bong to Minnesota for Lew Ford
Traded Wilson Betemit to New York (AL) for Jeff Weaver
Signed Trot Nixon: 2 years, $8 million
Signed Shannon Stewart: 3 years, $20 million
Signed Steve Reed: 1 year, $1.5 million
Signed Javy Lopez: 2 years, $12 million
Signed Pedro Astacio: 1 year, $300,000

The Braves pulled off the free-agent signing of the day, grabbing Trot Nixon–another Red Sox non-tender–for a price that had other GMs gasping at the news. (In fairness, there was some confusion about which agent was representing Nixon, with the result that some GMs were negotiating with the wrong person. Kind of like Luis Castillo in real life.) The additional signing of Shannon Stewart allowed the Braves to move Chipper Jones back to third and still make the newly-freed Lew Ford the fourth outfielder. Jeff Weaver may be damaged goods, but if anyone can fix him, it’s Leo Mazzone.

Ha. We wish they’d do that. Or done that, in Javy’s case. Steve Reed is an interesting idea; there were rumors of the Braves trading for him during the season.